Click the Malibu hybrid for a high-res gallery
Chevrolet first showed the new 2008 Malibu early this year at the Detroit Auto Show and it's now in production. This week at the Los Angeles Auto Show they are showing the new Malibu Hybrid for the first time at an auto show. The Malibu uses the same mild hybrid Belt-Alternator-Starter system as the earlier Saturn Aura and Vue Hybrids. In the Chevy, the system helps the car achieve EPA ratings of 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, an increase of two miles per gallon in each case. The system is basically an automatic start/stop setup with a nickel metal hydride battery to capture some energy from regenerative braking and provide some power boost when needed for acceleration. The Malibu hybrid starts at $22,790, a premium of about $1,800 over a comparably-equipped standard model.
[Source: General Motors]
AFFORDABLE 2008 CHEVROLET MALIBU HYBRID
COMES TO LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW
LOS ANGELES – Offering a competitive combination of refinement and fuel efficiency, the all-new 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, the most affordable hybrid version of a midsize sedan, made its auto show debut today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Starting at $22,790, Chevrolet's first hybrid car delivers the highest fuel economy among all Malibu models – EPA ratings of 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway – without having the highest price tag.
"With the Malibu Hybrid, customers don't need to sacrifice style or capability to realize a significant fuel-efficiency gain," said Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper. "GM is committed to demonstrating environmental and technological leadership, and the full force of that capability is behind its biggest global brand – Chevrolet. The Malibu Hybrid is just one example of Chevy's Fuel Solutions technologies that will take us from gas-friendly to gas-free."
The Malibu Hybrid arrives in dealerships this month and offers a competitive combination of refinement and fuel efficiency. Standard features include automatic climate control, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, 16-inch wheels and a driver information center with hybrid-specific information.
Malibu Hybrid models are easily distinguished at a glance, thanks to specific exterior appointments and badges. Inside, a unique gauge cluster provides information and feedback about the Hybrid powertrain's operation.
Hybrid powertrain details
The '08 Malibu Hybrid is equipped with the GM Hybrid system, which consists of:
- A precision electric Motor/Generator Unit replaces the conventional alternator. The 36-volt system is capable of 110 lb-ft (150 Nm) of auto-start torque
- Innovative power electronics that precisely control the Motor/Generator System
- A nickel metal hydride (NiMH) hybrid battery pack that is capable of delivering and receiving more than 10,000 watts of peak power. The pack consists of three 12V NiMH cassettes in series totaling 36 volts. Each cassette includes two 12V NiMH modules in parallel. They are located in the front of the trunk, taking up a minimal amount of cargo space
The GM Hybrid system is mated to a 2.4L Ecotec VVT four-cylinder engine and Hydra-Matic 4T45 four-speed transmission. This innovative hybrid powertrain is rated at 164 horsepower (122 kW)* at 6,400 rpm* and 159 lb.-ft. (215 Nm) of peak torque at 5,000 rpm.*
While maintaining the vehicle's sporty feel, the GM Hybrid system seamlessly reduces fuel consumption by:
- Shutting off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, to minimize idling
- Restarting the engine promptly when the brake pedal is released
- Using the motor/generator to bolster the gasoline engine at wide-open throttle, such as during acceleration or a passing maneuver
- Enabling early fuel shut-off during vehicle deceleration
- Capturing vehicle kinetic energy during deceleration through regenerative braking to charge the advanced nickel metal hydride battery
- Performing intelligent battery charging when it is most efficient
The GM Hybrid system also is designed to automatically maintain full accessory functionality when the vehicle is stopped, including climate control, so that hybrid operation is transparent to the driver and passengers. The Malibu Hybrid delivers an appropriate balance between fuel economy and cabin comfort with an air conditioning system with two selectable modes. The Hybrid A/C mode favors more fuel efficient performance by limiting the draw on the hybrid powertrain, while the normal mode provides maximum passenger comfort in hot climates and enhances defogging performance.
The instrument cluster of the Hybrid Malibu has been modified to advise the driver on operations of the hybrid powertrain:
- AutoStop indicator in the tachometer notifying the driver when the engine is in AutoStop mode
- ECO (Economy) indicator light notifying the driver when the vehicle is exceeding the EPA fuel economy estimates
- Charge-Assist gauge that indicates whether the system is charging or providing assist power
- The Driver Information Center (DIC) is programmed to provide messages specific to the Hybrid operation
The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is covered by GM's five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Additionally, the Malibu Hybrid's advanced nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack and other key hybrid components are covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.